Friday 15 May 2009
Here are Gavin Esler and Kirsty Wark to tell you what's coming up tonight on Newsnight and Newsnight Review:
From Gavin Esler:
Quote for the Day: "If these expenses had not been leaked, would any of the party leaders have made a stand to clear up a corrupt system?" Entertainer Frank Skinner.
That was the week that was; a week of allegations that have shaken Parliament and to an extent damaged almost all those within it.
Heads have begun to roll - or have they? True, the Justice Minister Shahid Malik has resigned his job, and there have been one or two other casualties. But despite all the public anger, not a single MP has quit parliament or announced he or she will stand down at the next election.
Should they? We're planning to debate tonight how to fix what has gone wrong, with two angry critics of MPs, the Mayor of Middlesborough (once called by the tabloids Robo-Cop) Ray Mallon, and the disc jockey Emma B.
Plus we've a special report on Barack Obama's big gamble in Afghanistan - can a troop surge work there, as it appears to have done in Iraq?
From Kirsty Wark:
Then on Newsnight Review with David Aaronovitch, Kate Mosse and Mark Kermode we explore how drama can illuminate and possibly influence the unglamorous and uncomfortable subject of neglected and abused children.
Golden Globe-winning and twice Oscar-nominated actress Samantha Morton makes her directorial debut with The Unloved, a drama for Channel 4, loosely based on her own experiences of a childhood in and out of foster families and care homes in Nottingham.
Eleven-year-old Lucy, played by Molly Windsor, is cut adrift in the care system after a brutal beating by her father, played by Robert Carlyle. She witnesses abuse in the care home - the care home manager sexually abuses her roommate, and she frequently absconds to walk the streets of the city, silently, for hours and hours.
Samantha Morton's deliberately pared down style - the slow pace and simple static shots - force the audience to engage with Lucy's inner torment.
And there is torment on stage in Monsters, a new Swedish play which has its British premiere in English this week at the Arcola Theatre in London. The play takes us back to the brutal killing of two-year-old James Bulger by the two boys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, and has been criticised by both the Bulger family and victim support groups.
Four adult actors on stage take on a variety of roles based mainly on the transcripts of the interrogation of the two boys, and the actors ask the audience to consider the role of the 38 witnesses who saw the boys leading James Bulger away, but did nothing.
Then we'll be delving into Dan Brown's follow up to the critically panned and commercially phenomenal The Da Vinci Code. Such was the Vatican's ire at that film that for Angels and Demons, director Ron Howard couldn't film there, and had to recreate The Vatican in Los Angeles.
Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks is building a franchise a la Harrison Ford...) is on the trail of another Catholic sect -the Illuminati - who are concerned about the growing influence of science on religion. When the pope dies they kidnap four cardinals... and then it gets scary.
And we hope we'll have time to discuss the new work of the Canadian poet Ann Michaels who won the Orange Prize in 1997. She has written her long awaited second novel The Winter Vault which returns to familiar territory of love and loss.
She intertwines two events - the building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt and the flooding of the St Lawrence Seaway in Canada - as seen through the eyes of an engineer and his fragile botanist wife, whose own relationship becomes engulfed, as communities in Egypt and Canada became engulfed by the water...
I hope you'll be watching.